Napoleon’s Great Escapes: The History of Napoleon’s Escapes from Egypt and Elba

Napoleon’s Great Escapes: The History of Napoleon’s Escapes from Egypt and Elba

Narrated by:
Kc Wayman
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2024
2 hours 14 minutes
Napoleon harbored all kinds of delusions about his time in Egypt that were not based in reality, but he definitely left a lasting legacy in the region, one he would never live to see or appreciate. By shifting the theater of operations to Africa and the Middle East, Napoleon inadvertently ensured the Europeans would fight there in the future, and the French occupation impressed upon the locals the necessity of catching up to the modern world in terms of technology. Ancient tactics could not prevail against a modern army, no matter the numbers, but while that was a lesson Napoleon consistently taught his enemies in Egypt and the Levant to their detriment, the French also sped up the occupied populations’ technological advances as well.

Of all the incredible military feats Napoleon accomplished, none were more impressive than his escape from Elba and his return to France, which was literally a bloodless revolution. On February 26, 1815, Napoleon escaped from Elba, and in a desperate gamble, he landed on the French mainland with less than a thousand men and marched on Paris.

What happened next was truly remarkable. An infantry regiment was sent to intercept Napoleon and his men, but Napoleon rode up to them alone and shouted, 'Here I am. Kill your Emperor, if you wish.' Upon seeing their once invincible leader before them, the soldiers mutinied and went over to his side en masse. Other corps soon followed, and in no time at all Napoleon found himself at the head of an army marching on Paris. The newly reinstituted Bourbon monarch fled the city, and so, with barely a shot fired, Napoleon found himself enthroned as emperor once more. In an astonishing feat of political chutzpah and military organization, within three months he had seized power anew and rebuilt his veteran forces to a strength of 200,000 men. Of these, 128,000 were assembled into the Armee du Nord, under Napoleon’s personal command.
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